The wonders of technology… In today’s world – we are wired for action in countless ways. We shop online, chat online, pay our bills, connect with loved ones, announce marriages, births and deaths on sites like Facebook and Twitter and interact in ways that years ago didn’t even occur to us. We are fully living in an age of technology surrounded by gadgets and services that make our lives easier and more complicated all at once. It’s incredible really, and I find that I welcome all of this into my life with a fair mix of enthusiasm and reluctance.
This week after going into the mobile phone store for what I thought would be a relatively simple fix on the ear piece for my existing cell phone, I walked out with a smart phone which can apparently do everything except feed my cats and wash the laundry. It is a wonderful little machine that I am both excited about and intimidated by. Just minutes before going into the store I was telling a friend that all I needed was for my cell phone to allow me to make and receive calls remotely – feeling sure in my conviction that I had no use for a phone that would allow me to send and receive emails, go onto my Facebook account and find the nearest gas station, and an hour later I walked out with a phone that could do all this and much, much more. I now get to spend the next six months figuring out how to use this darned thing. Woo hoo! I can’t blame the salesperson for talking me into it – I did it all myself. I saw this little technological wonder and sold myself with little resistance.
Like many other folks, I do enjoy all the benefits of these many services and capabilities but at the same time I am painfully aware of how much more complicated they make my life as well. The amount of time I spend caring for these sensitive machines, learning their bells and whistles, repairing their glitches and spending money to keep them running is significant. I suppose I could choose to “go offline”, to return to a more simplistic lifestyle, where if I wanted to speak to a friend I called them from my land line and wrote words with something called “pen and paper” but I wouldn’t want to. After all, in many ways our technologically interconnected lifestyle allows me to do things like write this blog and connect with people who otherwise I never would. Like so many other aspects of life it is a mixed blessing. But for a connector like me – this technology allows me the opportunity to, with relative ease, reach and connect with people who would otherwise be inaccessible and that is very valuable.
So, those are my thoughts for the day. I need to shift into a different gear now, but I won’t really be disconnected, I am just shifting over to a new machine. Like you – I am right here.